Central Bedfordshire Council secures funding for food, drink and farming businesses


Central Bedfordshire Council has secured £50,000 of government funding which will help food, drink and farming businesses to set up and expand in the Biggleswade and Ivel Valley area.
Agri-food is one of the key sectors in Central Bedfordshire and the money will be used to develop a Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ) which enables faster growth for businesses in the sector.
It will make it easier for existing businesses to expand and new ones to set up, attracting investment and boosting the rural economy. They will also forge closer links through the entire food chain, joining up farmers, manufacturers, retailers and researchers, helping businesses to realise the full value of our food and drink.
The FEZ, working with Cranfield University, will support the creation of 2,000 jobs and up to 30 new businesses by 2020 in a new food and drink cluster.
It will be underpinned by a Local Development Order focused on food and farming. This will be set up by the council to ensure that planning processes are easier for agri-food businesses and their related supply chains.  The FEZ will be subject to public consultation.
Central Bedfordshire’s successful bid was one of six new FEZs across England revealed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs today (25 March) and the council will receive the funding by the end of next month.
For more information please contact business@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

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